Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Making a mast and painting

I had a small but heavy spruce mast and spars from an old balance-lug from which the sail had long rotted-away. However, she needed a mizzen-mast of about 9' long and I decided to have a go at making one. I had a couple of 18' lengths of 3/4" by 1 3/4" douglas fir left over from the repairs to the boat and these were cut down and glued together.
Three lengths of fir glued together
Taper marked
These were planed square and then marked with a taper..

Planed clean



The mast taper was planed on with the spar still square.

Taper planed
A spar gauge was made up to mark the spar for planing and it then becomes eight-sided.

Spar gauge - two pencils and guide pegs
Marking the spar
Corners planed off to the marks - now its eight-sided
The faces were then numbered 1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15 with odd numbers only. This was done to avoid missing one corner whilst turning the eight-sided spar to sixteen..

Numbered faces
Spar planed along its length till it became sixteen-sided. Then re-numbered...

Numbered faces 1-16

Planed again on every corner till it is now at least 32-sided...

Nearly round
Finally a good deal of sandpapering with a coarse grade produced a smooth, round spar.

Finished spar
Well, not quite; it required the head to be rounded and a sheave cut and a taper and heel cut to suit the step and it was given a few coats of Danish Oil.

Now with the boat in the shed I was able to get on and finally paint her. All the new wood was sanded and primed and a couple of coats of white undercoat applied to the above-floor areas followed by a coat of white gloss. The bilges had previously been painted with grey 'Danboline'.
Seats and thwarts had a coat or two of 'woodskin' over the previous coats of 'Sikkens' - I'm trying this in place of varnish - not so glossy but might be easier to maintain.
The topsides were undercoated and painted with a gloss and the bottom painted red. There was no waterline marked on the boat and I spent a whole day with a tight string, level, square and rule transferring a line to the sides of the boat based on where I think she was floating.

Undercoating
Clean glossy white
Thwarts and brightwork treated with 'Woodskin'.
Topsides having two coats
Rubbing strip picked-out in red
Bottom painted - two coats
Finally she's finished and rolled out of the shed..


Floor-boards were given a coat of some non-skid grey




Final jobs are to complete a rudder, step the masts and make some sails...

Friday, 10 November 2017

Fitting lodging knees

The small rig that is planned for Nanw uses an 11ft long unstayed mast and as mentioned below it seemed a good idea to put some more strength into the fore part of the boat. To do this I have made some lodging knees to brace the forward thwart to the sides of the boat.
After being shaped round these were glued and screwed with 14G x 4" screws to the thwart which is 1 1/8" thick and nail and rove fastened through the adjacent frames.
Forward thwart braced with lodging knees

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Fitting a mast step and making knees

I have a plan to fit Nanw with a simple standing lugsail and mizzen.  I have a set of ancient spars that were possibly from a boat my father had as boy in Devon. Dad is 87 now so it gives an idea of their age! The mast is spruce and has a gentle taper as have the boom and yard.
The mast needs to be unstayed so I needed to build some more strength into the forward thwart and make a step for the mast.
First job was to make some lodging knees to fit between the hull side and the thwart to brace it and stiffen her up. In the absence of proper grown crooks I glued up some iroko with a big half-joint to make a pair of blanks:
Knee 'blank' made for lodging knee - this is the starboard one.
The knees were marked and cut to fit closely into planking and frames and will be through-fastened to the hull and glued and screwed to the thwart.
Making the port lodging knee fit.
Next job was a mast step.  I made a 'floor' to fit closely to the hull just aft of the stem knee and built up some hardwood to form a mast step. This will be screw fastened to the existing structure and glued and nailed together and through-fastened.
Mast step tied to new floor and standing on stem knee and hog.
The forward thwart was bored through using a convenient hole saw and the mast was trial-stepped. After checking it was upright and the rake was okay I have marked the step for the heel mortice.
Trial stepping the mast - position for step mortice located
Nanw's mast stepped at last!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Fitting rubbing bands

The 'underground' boat house has not been a success and although I squeezed two Redwings in there for the early spring it is too damp and dirty and the roof drips lime-laden water everywhere so the boats have to remain sheeted over even though they are indoors.  I got 'Pintail' out as soon as possible and 'Talofa' is going into temporary storage back at the old shed whilst the owner's cars are out for the summer - but no workshop facilities exist there now.
So, here, working outdoors I have got around to fitting Nanw's rubbing bands as the originals just below the land of the top strake. The douglas fir had been machined to a 'D' section but a test bend showed that they would probably fracture if I tried to force them to Nanw's curvature.  I set up a 3m length of 100mm polyduct with the end capped and filled it with water and left the two sections' forward ends to soak for a few weeks and then last week gave them an hour in the steam box.  They bent OK except where I'd pre-drilled them, where kinks and cracks appeared. Clamped in place a screw was placed through every other frame.
Another job nearly completed - some work now needed to enable her to carry a simple lugsail and then finish the painting.

Rubbing bead bent around and fastened. The block on her transom is to ship a rowlock for sculling and is an original fitment.

Simple 'D' section rubbing band fitted. Just needs trimming back.

It was the forward end of the rubber that needed steaming since the greatest curvature is here.

Monday, 3 April 2017

A new (temporary) home

Clinker Boat has been busy doing some much needed overhaul work on the Finesse's machinery and small boat works had been on hold due to lack of anywhere under cover to work.
However at the start of 2017 we managed to negotiate the use of a storage shed adjacent to the slipway in Tenby harbour.  It is a bit basic, dark, underground (beneath the owner's garden) with a narrow doorway and constant dripping water, but will do for now to get our Redwing's varnish touched-up for the season. A tent will be rigged inside to keep the dripping water off. Any major repair or construction work is probably not possible owing to the lack of any flat surface, means of generating power and the narrow doors.
Stone shed access way

Just enough room for two Redwings. Uneven earth floor has to be seen to be believed.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Nanw - Rowing boat stuff

Fortunately the weather has been kind and I have been able to get on with one or two further jobs outdoors on Nanw. Firstly I gave the interior another coat of primer after having treated the new frames with wood preservative. This was followed with a couple of coats of grey bilge paint in the areas under the floor boards (burden boards).
Bilge painting
Since the walestrakes and inwales have all been replaced I worked some rowlock cheeks out of fir and glued and fastened them in place behind the rowing thwart positions. I re-fitted them in the same spots as the originals were - about 250mm behind the forward and centre thwarts.
Rowlock cheek
Once planed flush I worked some cappings from offcuts of white oak and morticed for the galvanised rowlock plates. These were clamped and glued in place and holes bored to take 1/2" shank rowlocks.
Cappings glued and clamped



Rowlock cheek cappings fitted and faired
Off the boat I had been gluing up new timber to make new stern thwart and side benches. The original hardwood benches which were as ripe as anything and consisted mostly of car body filler were used as a template.  The benches are arranged to be removable to allow for painting - I assume - so I followed suit with the replacements.
New side benches being shaped.
To give some protection I have started giving this new wood in the upperworks a few coats of timber protection ('Cetol HLS').  I am trying this stuff as an alternative to varnish on this boat.  There is no gloss finish but it soaks into the timber nicely and looks very workmanlike and it is supposed to be resistant to UV - so we'll have to see.
Sharp edges rounded, sanded and the timber oiled


Monday, 26 September 2016

Small Clinker Boat Restoration is homeless...

...or more correctly, 'shed-less'.  The owner of the shed that I had been using announced that he wanted his shed back to store some of his growing collection of enormous 1960s American cars.  After a brief pause whilst he checked that they would actually fit through the door....!!! I then had to move all my unfinished projects, tools and timber out.  I have the temporary use of a nearby field so everything is now outside underneath poly-tarps.
So now looking for a shed to rent somewhere in South Pembrokeshire or possibly to attempt to apply for planning permission to put a shed up on the field that I am using for storage - it is currently grazing land that has not been occupied for about ten years.
Working on any of these has now become difficult and slow thanks to the rain and the evenings drawing in.

Two unfinished Redwings and 'Nanw' now standing outside in the corner of a field.